Simon LeBon’s Astonishing DNA Test

My daughter, Saffron, gave me a genetics kit for my birthday this year, and I know it’s a bit cheesy but in the tradition of middle aged dads everywhere, I’ve been working up the old family tree. 

 I’m pleased to have found a great many writers and poets in my bloodline!

The First LeBon

  The first LeBon arrived in London in the big Huguenot emigration of the 1590’s, and published the Elizabethan period poem below:

Thou has se’en me– stood’st at the corner of thy street

And O!  A fire makes for flashes on thy stone sill

To be solitary pleases you not

So thou wouldst seek out pleasure

And sooth- thou would knows’t wherefore and whyfore 

Nay, pray not for me today

Prithee, pray for me on the morrow–  Francois LeBon

American LeBon

Next, I found an American whose family settled in Louisiana.  We have a great-great grandfather in common.  He loved the SF beat poetry scene so much he moved out there in 1953. 

Antoine LeBon wrote the following,  published in a zine called Street Poems in 1957:

I finally bugged out yesterday

Couldn’t peep my hillside pad

Maybe I’ll head there in a year

Maybe I won’t

I can feel you diggin’ on me, cat, day and night

I’m hep to it, the art and incantations

I dig it, it’s a gas

There’s a dream, a fantasy maybe

Stringing down this road we call our home

There’s shards of glass everywhere

It cuts me, cuts me deep, and finally I say 

Hey man, hip me to it

What do I gotta know? 

Japanese LeBon

Perhaps strangest of all is a British girl whose family moved to Japan in the 30’s, and who wrote pretty little haiku like this one, this is Belleanne LeBon from her school poetry journal:

Cherry blossom lips

Smear in a line as she falls

Into blue water

Amazing stuff.  I showed it to Yasmin and said, look, babe, we’ve always been poets and she said, love, you’re not a poet, you’re just a clotheshorse who got lucky.

Well, I’ll add more if I find more!

‘Til then- Simon

The Man Who Sold The World: On Autoharp And Guitar

The Man Who Sold The World On Autoharp:

If you give a goth an autoharp, she’ll ask for a Jazzmaster.

If you give a goth a Jazzmaster, she’ll try to play some Bowie.

I found an autoharp on Glendale boulevard in LA and tuned it and replaced the springs and felts, and then I accompanied myself on this Bowie cover, The Man Who Sold The World. I have probably gone insane. Thank you.

How To Write A PERFECT Tom Waits Song!

 photo of tom waits let's write a tom waits song

Let’s Write A Tom Waits Song. We’ll need:

Vintage Cars

Gunshots

Diamonds

Ballroom Dances

A beautiful woman with a sad past

A hundred year old bartender who knows all the stories from the old neighborhood

Hobo Talk

A Battered Suitcase

A Toy Piano

Horny Carnies

A Jukebox

A Sailor, Or A Bunch Of Them

An All-Night Diner

A Train

A Circus 20 Years Past Its Prime

and now we’re done!

If you ever wonder what a baby thinks of Tom Waits, you can check it out here.

We can also write a Nick Cave song, a Mountain Goats Song, or a Robyn Hitchcock song

The Truth Behind Bowie’s “A Prettiest Star”

While doing important Bowie-based research around his birthday, I read that he had written The Prettiest Star as part of his marriage proposal for Angela, and played it to her over the phone.

Since she is of Cypriot heritage, he wrote the song as a hassapiko, a Greek folk dance. My friend Johnny tested it and found that it could be danced that way, right out of the box. Because of the “wop wop” in the background, it had always sounded like a kind of cheesy doo-wop to me.

This was charming, because later in life he was dismissive of her relationship and called it primarily business, but this trivia made me feel like there was a moment where he really loved her, even if he forgot that later.

He released it as a single and it tanked, at 800 copies sold. So did the marriage. Ah well.

How To Write a PERFECT Robyn Hitchcock Song!

Let's write a Robyn Hitchcock Song

Let’s Write A Robyn Hitchcock Song!

We’ll Need:

Angels

Priests

Hoods & Masks

Birds

The Byrds

A jangly, circular guitar riff that sounds like bells

A reverse pedal

Vegetables

Spiders/Spider’s Eggs

Insects

Eyes

Plants that become people, people that become plants

Cockney rhyming slang

Lizards

Obelisks

A Mandrake root writhing under a full moon in a sensual way

Disease/Decay

Prawns

Trains

Death

People named Bruce or Kevin 

A reference to Capricorns

Something belonging to Syd Barrett

We can also write a Nick Cave song, a Mountain Goats Song, or a Tom Waits Song

How To Write A PERFECT Nick Cave Song!

let's write a nick cave song nick cave and the bad seeds

?Let’s write a Nick Cave song?. What’ll we need?

Paradise Lost
The Circus/Freaks/Etc.
Blues music
“All Things Move Towards Their End”
The Supernatural
The Bible
A Gun
Greek poetry 
A small, but surprisingly sharp, knife 
End of Days
The American West/Pioneers/Lawless lands
People who were born evil
Messed Up Preachers
Being Attracted To Women Who Are Married To Someone Else Whom You Then Kill
Lots of Murders, misunderstood criminals
The Devil
Being suspected or discovered to be a murderer
Alcohol
Jesus 
Floods
Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood
Sociopathic Narrators
Women and children grieving for lost husbands and fathers
Dark-haired ladies
Whores
A mandolin loop 
A big big gong
Subset: what kind of beautiful dark-haired woman do you want in here?

A. Sad 
B. Vengeful 
C. Murderous
D. Angelic
E. With a heart-shaped face and a west country accent

And there you are!

How To Write A PERFECT Mountain Goats Song!

Let’s write a Mountain Goats Song!

let's write a mountain goats song

What will we need to write a Mountain Goats song?

Names of Small Towns 
The Pride of the Outsider 
Motorcycles
Trains
Childhood Memories
Broken Things
Drugs
A Moment Where You Escaped The Boot On Your Neck And Experienced Real Freedom In A Way Rich Kids Never Will 
Wrestling
Magic the Gathering/D&D
Dysfunctional Family Relationships We Never Dealt With 
Driving
Wolves
Dogged Optimism Even Though You Know It’ll All Fall Apart
Glamorized Alcoholism
A-minor Chord
Names of Ancient Gods
Regionally Specific Trees
Lo-Fi Recording
Descriptions of How A Girl’s Hair Looks In The Sunset
Nostalgia for Things That Went Badly
Names of Interstates 
Not just acoustic guitar- Acoustic AF guitar

And we’re ready to go! We can also write a Tom Waits song, a Nick Cave song, or a Robyn Hitchcock song